Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been given a one-match ban and a £50,000 fine for a tweet he sent about team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
The Portuguese posted pictures of Mendy as a child alongside the mascot for Spanish confectionery firm Conguitos on September 22 and despite immediately deleting it, he was charged by the Football Association.
The FA has now imposed a suspension, a £50,000 fine and ordered him to complete face-to-face education, while also releasing a statement about their decision.
“Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first-team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3,” the statement read.
“The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on September 22, 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an ‘aggravated breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”
On the same day as the tweet in question, Silva posted: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… You guys…”
It is understood Silva wrote to the FA to express regret over the Mendy tweet, while Mendy also wrote to the governing body to say that no personal offence had been caused.
City manager Pep Guardiola also leapt to the defence of his player, saying: “Bernardo is one of the most lovely people I have ever met in my life,” Guardiola said on September 25.
“He speaks four or five languages – that is the best way to understand how open-minded he is – and one of his best friends is Mendy. He is like a brother for him. The image for the two is not about the colour of the skin.”
Silva will now miss the crunch Premier League match against Chelsea on November 23, which Guardiola’s side go into nine points behind leaders Liverpool.